Evening Poetry, June 24

The TrueLove

by David Whyte

There is a faith in loving fiercely

the one who is rightfully yours

especially if you have

waited years and especially

if part of you never believed

you could deserve this

loved and beckoning hand

held out to you this way.

I am thinking of faith now

and the testaments of loneliness

and what we feel we are

worthy of in this world.

Years ago in the Hebrides

I remember an old man

who walked every morning

on the grey stones

to the shore of baying seals

who would press his hat

to his chest in the blustering

salt wind and say his prayer

to the turbulent Jesus

hidden in the water,

and I think of the story

of the storm and everyone

waking and seeing

the distant

yet familiar figure

far across the water

calling to them

and how we are all

preparing for that

abrupt waking,

and that calling,

and taht moment

we have to say yes,

except it will

not come so grandly

so Biblically

but more subtly

and intimately in the face

of the one you know

you have to love.

So that when

we finally step out of the boat

toward them, we find

everything holds

us, and everything confirms

our courage, and if you wanted

to drown you could,

but you don’t

because finally

after all this struggle

and all these years

you don’t want to any more

you’ve simply had enough

of drowning

and you want to live and you

want to love and you will

walk across any territory

and any darkness

however fluid and however

dangerous to take the

one hand you know

belongs to yours.

You can find this poem in the collection The Sea in You.

Evening Poetry, June 16

Shoreline

by David Whyte

Holding hands, we walk

to the very edge of the light,

shyly aware of the way

time radiates from

where we stand.

Our footprints behind us,

are a promise in the sand,

inscribing a joining,

a walking together,

our witness to the ocean,

and as they wait

to disappear

under the flowing tide,

the far, unknown,

and unspeakable

origin from which we came.

Then, all around us,

the felt sense of a courage

needed, a newness in the air,

a touch of the familiar

and ancient in all the tidal vows

the wind can speak,

the strands of your hair

across my face, and then,

suddenly, the sun in your eyes

and the way they closed in surprise

at the first kiss of your salt mouth.

You can find this poem in the collection The Sea in You.

Evening Poetry, June 12

The Sea in You

by David White

When I wake under the moon,

I do not know who I have become unless

I move closer to you, obeying the give and take

Of the earth as it breathes the slender length

Of your body, so that in breathing with the tide that breathes 

In you, and moving with you as you come and go,

And following you, half in light and half in dark,

I feel the first firm edge of my floating palm touch 

And then trace the pale light of your shoulder

To the faint, moonlit shadow of your smooth cheek

And drawing my finger through the pearl water of your skin,

I sense the breath on your lips touch and then warm

The finest, furthest, most unknown edge of my sense of self,

So that I come to you under the moon as if I had

Swum under the deepest arch of the ocean,

To find you living where no one could possibly live,

And to feel you breathing, where no one could

Possibly breathe, and I touch your skin as I would

Touch a pale whispering spirit of the tides that my arms

Try to hold with the wrong kind of strength and my lips

Try to speak with the wrong kind of love and I follow

You through the ocean night listening for your breath

In my helpless calling to love you as I should, and I lie

Next to you in your sleep as I would next to the sea,

Overwhelmed by the rest that arrives in me and by the weight

That is taken from me and what, by morning,

Is left on the shore of my waking joy.

You can find this poem in the collection The Sea in You.

Evening Poetry, May 31

River Fall

by David Whyte

We follow

the river’s fall

down through

the mountains

all day, but now

our bodies

have stopped

to rest,

the water still flows on

without us.

You can find this poem in the collection The Bell and The Blackbird by David Whyte.

Evening Poetry, May 18

Stone

by David Whyte

The face in the stone is a mirror looking into you.

You have gazed at the moving waters

you have seen the slow light, in the sky

above Lough Inagh, beneath you, streams have flowed,

and rivers of earth have moved beneath your feet,

but you have never looked into the immovability

of stone like this, the way it holds you, gives you

not a way forward but a doorway in, staunches

your need to leave, becomes faithful by going nowhere

something that wants you to stay here and look back,

be weathered by what comes to you, like the way you too

have travelled from so far away to be here, once reluctant

and now as solid and as here and as willing

to be touched as everything you have found.

You can find this poem in the collection The Bell and The Blackbird by David Whyte.

Evening Poetry, May 13

Seeing You

by David Whyte

I want you

to see

yourself

the way

I sometimes

see you.

I want you

to see

yourself

with the

self-same

eyes

that have me

shy

of telling you

what I see.

I want you

to come across

your self

and see

yourself,

the way I did

that first

morning,

as a beautiful

incredibly

kind

and inviting

stranger.

I want you

to knock

gently on

your

own door

and stand

there

astonished

as I do

unable

to speak

to the one

who has come

out to meet you.

Like Rilke’s

visiting

angel

of the

Annunciation

who forgot

his message

to Mary,

and could only

fall back

to singing

her praises,

stuttering and

everwhelmed

as he was,

by the untroubled

beauty

of her soul.

You can find this poem in the collection The Bell and The Blackbird by David Whyte.

Evening Poetry, May 10

Homage (for Mary Oliver)

by David Whyte

So simple

so clear,

so here.

Like a cat

pawing

the air

or the whip

crack

sound

of a dog

snapping

at a fly.

Always

toward

the end,

the way

we are never

quite

prepared

to find

the beautiful

sense

of hidden

pleasurable

and complete

surprise

in the poem

until

reading

the

very

last line,

but which

is

the one

you

remember

and

that stays

with you

day after day

when you do.

You can find this poem and more in David Whyte’s collection The Bell and the Blackbird.